Great Bend — The Hays Larks rebounded from a tough start in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Great Bend to put themselves in a position to win the series with a victory in the late game.
The Bat Cats got to the Larks’ Jake Norton early in the opener, forcing the starter from the game after one inning. Great Bend owned a 5-0 lead when Brad Sugg got the ball in the second and went on to win 9-4.
Norton appeared to struggle with command out of the gate, walking the first two batters he faced before hitting the third. A run-scoring fielder’s choice and bases-loaded walk followed to make it 2-0 after one.
The Larks’ starter returned for the second but exited after walking the first batter of the inning and hitting the next two.
Sugg entered with the bases loaded and no outs. He gave up three singles that allowed the hosts to take a 7-0 lead to the third.
Great Bend scored its final two runs in the third before the Larks got on the board in the sixth.
Clayton Harp’s RBI double got the Larks on the board before Trevor Boone hit a three-run homer to bring the Larks within five.
Ke’one Givens was the only Lark to tally multiple hits. Hays outhit the Bat Cats 7-6 but could not overcome the early deficit.
The Larks took the nightcap 7-3 to make a series win possible.
The Bat Cats scored the game’s first two runs in the fourth before a five-run fifth saw the Larks move in front for good.
Clayton Rasbeary tied it with a two-run double before Harp scored on a Colin Simpson sacrifice fly to make it 3-2.
Mikey Gangwish and Max Remy came up with RBI singles later in the inning for the Larks’ fourth and fifth runs.
Great Bend scored its final run in the bottom half when Schneider handed the ball off to Chad Smith.
The Larks extended the lead to five in the sixth on a two-run single by Simpson.
Smith closed the game with a pair of scoreless innings.
Givens led the Larks at the plate, going 3 for 3 and scoring a pair of runs. Harp added two hits and two runs scored, while Simpson (3) and Rasbeary (2) combined to plate five runs.
Hays will look to take the series in tonight’s finale at Larks Park.